Reno ignored the part of him that just wanted to DIE at the words coming from him mouth. "Be exclusive to each other?" He snorted softly. "Yeah, sorry…don't really see that happening, kid. You and I … we're good in the sack an' all but in a relationship, just us, we'd kill each other … so no." He turned and walked off. But what a way to go…If I thought I could be ANY good for you… He pushed the traitorous thoughts away. He wasn't, he never could be. Better to break his heart a little now than a lot sometime down the road, right?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Reno stared at Rufus, amazed. "I swear, that blow would have felled a mere mortal man. What, is your skeleton strengthened with some alien metal like in that film we saw?" Rufus snorted. "Perhaps you're just losing your touch OLD MAN!" Reno twitched slightly as the barb hit home but he let it go. He deserved it for breaking his heart a little, right?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The President eyed Reno. "Your idiocy has been tolerated for years, Reno but it can't be in this instance. Your behaviour almost cost me MY life…you're off duty with no pay for two weeks." Reno did his best to look suitably upset. In truth though, he'd do it all again for the rare smile Rufus had bestowed on him when he'd heard the news.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rude shook his head in amazement. "You have a very rare ability to drive EVERYONE who you meet completely crazy…yet live. Even Sephiroth let you live after you cut his hair that time, left him like a shorn sheep.* What exactly IS your secret?" Reno smirked. "Don't you know? I'm Reno!" He shrugged helplessly. "If I could bottle it and sell it, I would." Rude just rolled his eyes in response. There wasn't really anything to be said to that, was there?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Kadaj stared at the...the automobile in front of him. "You have GOT to be joking! Seriously! Get with the program, Loz. If you think I'm going to go around in…in THAT pile of crap, you've got another thing coming! I've got an image to maintain, after all." He kicked the tyre of the rust bucket of a car in front of him. "If you don't bring me a bike, I'm telling Mother and I KNOW she'll be disappointed."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rufus was trying so hard to be the cold person that everyone said he was but it was hard. Impossibly hard when, the only thing he wanted - had ever wanted in fact – was denied to him. Still, he did quite well. Only one barely noticeable sniff escaped him on seeing Reno again for the first time after the break up.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tseng sighed and looked at Rude. "I don't know what's more torture: Dealing with an angst-ridden and hurt Rufus or dealing with Reno in denial. I swear though, if they don't cut it out soon, I'm either going to kill them both or lock them both in a padded cell in straitjackets. Together. Then they're each other's problem, right?"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rude snorted. "Look, I know I follow her around like an eager puppy, do anything to make her happy but, isn't that better than sitting back and making both of us miserable by choosing not to be together because I might hurt her sometime in the future?" He eyed Reno. "That's right, I'm talking about YOU now, buddy…get a grip, okay? You're miserable, he's miserable…cut it out. Tell him you're sorry, that you love him…give us ALL a break!"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rufus was just on the verge of sleep when he felt something poke him. He sighed tiredly as he turned to look, far too exhausted even to summon energy…and there he was, his Reno with a look on his face that stole the breath from his lungs. Reno watched him for a moment and sighed. "Sorry." No other words were exchanged, Rufus merely slid his hands into the red hair, pulled his head to his and kissed him…and in Rufus' world, the sun finally came out again.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

For a moment, Rufus doesn't want to wake. If this has all been a dream, he's pretty sure he'll lose his composure for good and just sob, an uncontrollable mess with no hope of salvation. He tries to push himself back into sleep again but there's a tickling sensation on his nose…hair brushing against it…Given that he has just had a hair cut and the angle of the tickling, it can't be HIS hair. He opens one eye a fraction, starts to breath again as he catches sight of bright red hair. "Thought ya'd never wake, yo."

* Reference: A Sephiroth/Reno Story by Raven-Leigh (Fanning the Flames) Go check it out! :D